R2-KT's Art Gallery

R2-KT has been fortunate enough to make friends with some pretty cool people. Artists in the Star Wars community have paid her huge compliments by gracing her likeness in their own style. Their talent and graciousness is beyond words - special thanks goes out to them. I only wish we could feature their work in a place worthy of it. But at least we can share it with the public. Thanks, everyone!

We love to feature artists and their work. If you're interested in doing a piece featuring R2-KT let us know. We'd love to work with you. For those willing to produce designs for one of our fund-raisers, check out our Artist FAQ



Tsuneo Sanda

World-famous Star Wars artist Tsuneo Sanda has been a big supporter of the 501st Legion and was inducted an Honorary Member by the Japanese Garrison. He has also been one of the biggest supporters of our family since Katie was diagnosed with cancer. Her story touched his heart and he has created a number of works in her memory. These are screen shots from his website telling of his experiences with this story. Soon I will post images of the artwork he has created of her and of R2-KT. Truly magical, just like everything Mr. Sanda does! You can see the incredible world of Sanda on his site, www.sandaworld.com


Allison Sohn
A few years ago I created the Droid Hunt game to raise the excitement level at conventions and allow convention attendees a chance to interact with Stormtroopers. It's been an incredible hit. So when R2-KT appeared at San Diego ComicCon to herald the release of her action figure, the 501st featured her on their Droid Hunt badge for the show. Allison Sohn was cool enough to lend her talents in creating the badge, which she poses with here. She is a lovely person and has a fantastic take on life. I'm sure she and Katie would have really hit it off. You can see more of her work on her website, www.allisonsohn.com


Katie Cook
Artist Katie Cook created this irresistible caricature to have it presented to me at Motorcity Comicon 2008. The original, like much of the art showcased here, hangs on the wall next to R2-KT herself. Katie was inducted as an Honorary Member of the 501st Garrison and we are glad to have her! You can learn more about her work at the website www.katiecandraw.com . You can also read her reaction to her induction on her website here: http://katiecandraw.typepad.com/ (Scroll down to the May 15, 18, and 19 entries for 2008).


Julien
February 2008: The French Garrison invited me over to attend the Migennes Toy Show. Little did I know that Julien, one of their members, spent the convention in an OCP uniform (from the movie Robocop) putting the final touches on a portrait he created of R2-KT as imagined in Paris. One of these days I hope to tour the girl around the globe, but for now this is a beautiful way to imagine her in the city of lights. Thank you, Julien!


Christopher Weaver
July 2008: I was contacted while in Japan by a freelance artist who wanted to do a character key of R2-KT. Character keys are reference pictures done for animation characters. I thought the idea was a great one, especially considering R2-KT's upcoming appearance in the Clone Wars movie. So I've included a copy here. As you can see, R2-KT shines on celluloid! Thanks, Chris! Here are some words from the artist himself:
"I enjoyed the idea of the character keys that Acme was producing but I really couldn't get behind the small size and the art really didn't appeal to me. So, being that I work as a graphic designer/art director I decided to do my version, for my daughter...Albin, thank you for creating R2-KT. It's a wonderful thing that you have done, and I'm sure it means so much to many kids and families. R2-KT will now be joining R2-D2 in my daughters new bedroom."


Dave Filoni
July 2008: R2-KT makes her big screen performance in the Clone Wars animated movie! Dave Filoni, the director of the Clone Wars, had heard about R2-KT's story and instantly wanted to put her in. I was privileged to meet him in Japan during the Celebration Japan event and thanked him personally. He's a great guy, super talented, and very personable. I was thrilled to know Katie's story had touched him and that her spirit would live on in the Star Wars universe alongside the great characters we've come to know and love!


Tod Allen Smith
September 2008: Again out of the blue, I was contacted by Tod Allen Smith, Star Wars artist commissioned by Norvandell to produce Star Wars Galaxy 4 series sketch cards. He informed me that one of the cards he would like to do would feature Padme's niece, Pooja, a precocious little child with curly brown hair and big apple cheeks. You can see an entry showing Pooja in the Wookieepeida here (just click on the picture):

Anyways, he asked me if it would be okay for him to use my late daughter Katie as the basis for his interpretation of Pooja. I am pleased and thrilled to include this link to the what the card looks like (again, just click on the picture):

Link to the site where Tod revealed his news.

Tod said it was no coincidence that Katie is surrounded by troopers - he wanted to convey just how the Legion embraced her when she was sick. It is a beautiful image and really brings a smile to my face. I am sure Katie would have LOVED to be a princess surrounded by her troopers.

In Tod's words: "I have a daughter, and after reading the story on the back of the blister card, I could not help but think how I would feel, and there was no second guessing doing this card for you. I have R2KT at my desk un-opened, so when others stop by cubicle, they can see it."


Rich Molinelli
2009: Rich Molinelli chose R2-KT as one of his subjects for his series of Topps Star Wars Sketch Cards. As a special nod to Katie, he even included a little lady-bug in the upper-left-hand corner. Rich was especially keen to draw the connection between the cute droid and the little princess who inspired her creation. You can see more of Rich's work at his website: http://www.mankindram.com/


Dan Bergren
February 2009: Dan Bergren of the 501st Legion posted these pics to show what he's done to commemorate our lil R2-KT. "This was literally the last card I did for the set, literally at the last minute before I had to get my cards packed and to the UPS store to meet the deadline. And I don't know if anybody's posted this anywhere else, but here's the painting I did for the Comic Con Droid Hunt last year (2008). These pieces are very special to me. As both an artist, and a member of the 501st, I was deeply inspired by Katie's story. I wanted to honor her in the best way that I could. And since WALL-E is my other favorite robot, I just couldn't resist putting the two of them together." In 2010 Dan did yet ANOTHER sketch card featuring R2-KT for the Star Wars Galaxy Fifth Series. His comments on it: "Since R2-KT is now officially part of the Star Wars Universe, I knew I wanted to create another Galaxy sketch card with her image. To contrast the cartoon style of the Galaxy 4 sketch, I went with a more realistic version, using R2-D2 for reference. And this time, I couldn't resist adding a tiny ladybug to keep her company." You can see more of Dan's work at his website: http://www.danbergren.com/


Gina Canady
September 2009: Gina Canady first met R2-KT at ShevaCon earlier in the year and the little droid left such an impression that Gina felt inspired to put something on canvas to capture the emotion. Later at Dragoncon in Atlanta she presented her original work of art to Katie's family to a roaring crowd of 501st Legion members. The beauty of the print was enough to send the family into tears (the good kind!). To see Katie standing alongside her namesake, smiling in a field of ladybugs, is an image that transcends the simple grace of artwork. It reaches pure magic.

R2-KT had a blast at Celebration V in Orlando, Florida Aug 12-15, 2010! She took part in the induction of Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) and Ray Park (Darth Maul) into the Kilted Trooper Brigade. Check out the print by Gina Canady that graced their t-shirts for the weekend!


Azman Sugi
October 2009 - Azman Sugi of the R2 Builders sent me this snappy mosaic shot of R2-KT made up of scenes from the Star Wars movies. Just incredible. This technology has been around for a few years but it never ceases to amaze me how cool the effect is to see a mosaic made up of smaller related pics. I love scanning through and seeing what got added and where.


Denise Vasquez
January 2010: When I met Randy Martinez and Denise Vasquez in Kyoto Japan during Celebration Japan they were the coolest people and very friendly to all their fans. As Star Wars artists their talents are obvious. Denise surprised everyone by including R2-KT in her set of Topps Star Wars Galaxy V as a Hand Painted RETURN sketch card. She has pledged to hold a special auction on ebay for this work of art, donating 50% of proceeds to the "MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION" in Honor of the 501st Legion. That illustration of R2KT will also be included in the "Sketch Card Mania" book for Impact books & will be the ONLY Star Wars Galaxy V sketch card in the book! Yep, not only is she gorgeous, talented, and an inspired musician writer and artist - she's also very cool. How often does that happen? You can see more about Denise at her website: http://www.denisevasquez.com/Denise_Vasquez.com/Welcome_to_Denise_Vasquez.html


George Calloway
March 2010: George emailed me out of the blue to tell me that he read Katie's story a couple years back and it stuck with him enough that when he recently completed cards for the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest foundation Charity he thought Katie and R2-KT would be a great symbol for the need. So he proceeded to try to capture her likeness based on the site photos. Although not on an official Star Wars card set the foundation was authorized to use Star Wars. A little from the man himself:

"I actually stumbled on Katie's story about 2 years back while looking for reference for R2-D2 to be used in the first Comics for a cure auction. I had just lost my uncle to brain cancer and was really moved when I found out about Katie. Since that point I wanted to do a tribute but the timing never seemed right until now. I was very picky about who I would do Katie for in regards to charity fund raising. This year I was contacted to do some cards for a place in Chicago. When I saw the name I knew this was it. Perfect. The Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest foundation. http://www.treasurechest.org/ Katie, a girl I never knew, has become an inspiration for me in life."


Michael "Locoduck" Duron
"This piece was originally simply a donation piece for the Marla Bea Benefit auction. I decided to do this one and the Black Cat piece as well. And while I am proud of both, I simply love and adore the Star Wars piece the best.
You see it started as me trying to draw something unique for the auction. The requirement was that we draw a strong female type from pop culture and feature the color pink. I thought about it for a long while and realized it would be cool to make a pink Artoo unit. So that was the plan.
Then this past weekend I was at Mini Megacon checking out the exhibitors. I came across the Florida Garrison of the 501st Legion. These guys are a class act all over the world. If I had a Stormtrooper outfit I would totally join. Maybe I'll start building one at the Star Wars Fan Days 3 show in October.
Anyway, I noticed a pink Artoo action figure at their booth, and struck up a conversation with one of the guys there. I apologize in advance for being too sloppy to get a name. I wanted to know if it was indeed a female droid? Low and behold there was, and she had a name, R2KT.
He went on to share the story in brief about young Katie Johnson. She was a beautiful little girl with an affection for R2, and a losing battle with Brain Cancer. Now if I have this a little off, I am sorry for my poor detailing. Apparently, her father was in the midst of building Katie her very own pink astromech droid when she took a turn for the worse. Some of the professional R2 robot builders then stepped in and created a real life pink R2 unit, and called it R2KT. Sadly, Katie lost her fight with cancer and passed away sometime after. So now R2KT has become a staple in the Star Wars world. She is an ambassador of sorts, making appearances at Hospitals, and functions, and continuing to bring more awareness to cancer. The droid was even featured briefly in the Clone Wars movie.
After hearing Katie's story I knew I had made the right choice to draw this piece. This drawing became more emotional for me as well because of the fact that my little girls had just left me, to go back to Texas. But I guess I should thank my stars, that I can still call them or see them. So my heart and thoughts go out to Katie Johnson's daddy, and it is very hard to now part with this piece. But the positive side is that it will help to bring us in someway closer to saving future Katie's.

You can see more of Michael's work at his website: http://www.locoduck.com/



Louis Bright-Raven
The 501st Legion's Carolina Garrison met up with artist Louis Bright-Raven in 2010 and were treated to a nice surprise: a beautiful original ink drawing of R2-KT rendered in loving detail by Louis. The original hangs proudly in the R2-KT gallery next to R2-KT herself as well as here in the online gallery. R2 really comes to life in this illustration, another reminder of the icon she's become. You can see more of Louis' art by visiting his Deviant Art site here: http://bright-raven.deviantart.com/




Kirk 'Leezard' Hardtle
Kirk (aka Leezard) Hardtle surprised us at Dragoncon in 2010 with a stunning custom piece he designed of R2-KT and the inspiration she impressed upon him. Kirk is an amazing and compassionate artist and a member of the 501st. He's known firsthand the valleys life can hand us and he has persevered with an incredible fortitude. He is as much an inspiration to us as anyone and we were overwhelmed to have this beautiful piece created in honor of Katie and her namesake. Notice the hearts in the picture: they represent Katie and her sisters. Thank you so much, Kirk, this means the world to us.




Matt Lindon
Matt Lindon sent in this picture that his daughter made of KT and Katie at Christmas! Sometimes kids can capture things even better than the rest of us! This is such a lovely picture and we treasure it!




Matt Lindon
Bob Olszewski sent in this picture that a child drew of R2-KT from a class he visited with his R2-D2 unit and R2-KT logos. This just captures how kids see R2-KT and reminds us how beautiful the world looks through a child's eyes.




Steven Miller
Star Wars artist Steven Miller blew us away when he asked if he could do sketch cards of KT as well as Katie as a Jedi! So Katie will officially be Jedi Kay Tii featured in the Star Wars Galaxy 6 Trading Card set put out by Topps sometime this March - you can see more of Steven's work at his website: www.miller777art.com




James Hance
Not sure if James Hance, artist extraordinaire, intends for this to be KT but even if it isn't, still a great R2 work of art! "Latest Painting in Progress: 'My Only Hope' - Gesso / Acrylic / Graphite on wood board. Heartfelt thanks to The R2 Princesses for the source photo and inspiration :) Go on and like their Facebook page, they're unfathomably adorable! http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-R2-Princesses/332651880112995 ?"




Topps Attax Card
Here is a shot of the R2-KT card from the Topps series of Attax cards.




Cat Staggs
Famed Star Wars artist Cat Staggs did this beautiful painting of R2-KT reprising the role of a certain Extra Terrestrial who also loved children! I can't tell you how much it warmed my heart to see this painting, which I wasn't even aware of until I ran across it on Facebook. Wow, this is just so cool. You can see more of Cat's awesome work on her website, http://www.catstaggs.com/




Peter Mayhew Book
Peter Mayhew, the actor who played lovable Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy, has written a new anti-bullying book for children. Beautifully illustrated by artist Terry Naughton, the story is told through a frank conversation between Katie Johnson and Peter Mayhew. Terry worked with us very closely in matching his illustrations closely to likenesses of Katie. The result was amazing. You can learn more about Terry's work at his website: www.terrynaughton.com. Here are a few samples from the book:




Scott Gonzo Wadsworth
Scott surprised us in an email with this little gem. He told us he was passionate about recreating R2-KT's likeness: "I have loved Star Wars since my dad and I saw it in 1977. I have been motivated to do mostly star wars drawings because of that love. I decided to do R2-KT because of what and who she represents. To me she represents the dedication of a trusted friend or family member who is there no matter the problem and to stand beside you when you most need them. R2-Kt was there when she was most needed." Thanks, Scott!!!




Clone Wars Adventures
R2-KT makes an appearance in the Clone Wars Adventures game!




Girls in the Force
Lillian Skye of fangirlsintheforce.wordpress.com sent in this great illustration by her colleague Leah Rose, a neat little cartoon about girls in fandom that features our girl KT. Go visit her blog and let them know that women are a real FORCE in fandom!

"Hi, my name is Lillian Skye and I heard about Katie's story a few years ago when I saw the little pink droid in the Clone Wars movie. Katie's story is truly inspiring--she was such a beautiful little girl and I love the pictures on the website with her and her kittens. One story that truly touched me was how Mr. Johnson thought that the church windows looked like R2 units. To me that was a "God wink" for Katie and her family. In my family we have something called "God winks," where God shows us something or a little miracle happens in the day, for example we've given someone a donation and then someone turned around and blessed us! It's just a little God wink to make you smile :).

I have a blog now (fangirlsintheforce.wordpress.com) and when I remembered Katie's story and R2-KT my friend Leah Rose drew R2-KT along with me and some other Star Wars women into the header for my site and I thought you might like to see it =)

Thank you for all that you do by inspiring and encouraging other children with Katie's story!
~Lillian Skye"




Eric Siebeneck
Eric Siebeneck is a popular artist on Deviant Art and he sent us this amazing Warhol interpretation of R2-D2 and our girl KT was featured prominently. Just amazing! He then followed up with an awesome Doctor-Who-meets-KT design which we used for KT Fan Club Patch #7 in the series to benefit St. Jude's. And then he let us convert his amazing Warhol art into a patch for a Make-A-Wish fund-raiser. Two of our biggest patches to-date because we had to show off his gorgeous works' detail.
"I'm an artist and graphic designer having worked with and/or provided artwork for the Save the Lars Homestead book as well as the Ohio Star Wars Collectors Club. Recently another member of OSWCC told me that I didn't have enough droid pieces (especially R2) so I was inspired to create an Andy Warhol style piece. You may enjoy the one in the bottom left!"
You can see more of Eric's work on Deviant Art here: http://siebo7.deviantart.com/gallery/




Lisa Ficarra Chalker
Lisa Ficarra Chalker designed this poignant mural of the cutest droid couple ever, adding a bow to KT and a heart that says it all. William Tatsch was nice enough to commission it and send it our way and now it's hanging with pride in the KT art gallery! You can see more of Lisa's work at www.ficarramurals.com




Shawn "Vader" Lippe
Shawn "Vader" Lippe created a modern-art piece featuring KT t-shirt art. I think it says all it needs to say and is a wonderful graphic. Thanks, Shawn!




Benny J Ross
Benny J. Ross created this scenic portrait of two droids in love. I know the sand and water can't be very appealing to a droid, but that sunset has got to be something even they can appreciate!




Michael "Locoduck" Duron
Michael continues to honor KT with his masterful cartoon work. This cartoon shows KT being introduced to the Star Wars universe's cast of characters and I can't imagine a more friendly introduction!

You can see more of Michael's work at his website: http://www.locoduck.com/



Rene Clement
Rene Clement of the 501st Legion German Garrison provided R2-KT with some great artwork to showcase her visit to Europe for Celebration Europe II!


Rene Clement does it again, this time re-imagining R2-KT in a cool, cubist, retro design. It looks great as its own off-kilter cartoony logo, but then he adds the pastel swirl and KT really pops!



JW Moonpie Sims
Check out the AMAZING original mash-up artwork being done by JW Moonpie Sims. This began as a Facebook request for ideas, I never dared to hope this idea would be realized but *WOW* so utterly cool!!! Can't wait to see the final product. Thanks so much!



Mr Robotov
Mr Robotov posted this slick visual design he created on deviant-art in tribute to R2-KT. He has an assortment of droids up there but the color scheme he chose for KT has a nice industrial look and good contrast. Sweet!



Fiona Messer
Good friend and Legion member Fiona Messer from Germany sent us this treat right after Celebration Europe II. "I am sending you a picture I did inspired by R2-KT at Celebrations Europe. She was standing next to a pit droid who was sitting against her side. They looked like the droid version of Calvin and Hobbes in the summer reading a book. Anyway It's a small version. But I hope you like it!"
Oh yes! We love it! Thanks so much, Fiona - I see a Winnie the Pooh scene in there, too. :)



Jamie Snell
Star Wars Sketch Cards by Jamie Snell - so pumped to have R2-KT included in the set!



Aoibara
We were sent this AMAZING Anime rendition of R2-KT standing next to her buddy Anakin. It was titled "Black Holy" and this version apparently included our pink droid, all created by the artist Aoibarax in Taiwan! Just breathtaking. Her work is on deviantart, where she writes "The story about R2-KT, and Katie Johnson truly touched my heart, that I was motivated to make a version with R2-KT." You can view her works right here: http://xaoibarax.deviantart.com/.
She tells us that she loves the 501st Legion and plans on joining one day, so hopefully we will soon get another awesome artist in the Legion!
Some words from the artist about her work: "I chose Anakin because he is my favorite among the Star Wars franchise, because I loved his character development, as well as his looks (He reminds me of my favorite anime character, whom I based on the anime rendition.).In the background, the Delta-7 Aethersprite-class light interceptor, it is blue and gold...because it is my school color."
"The title of the artwork, Black Holy, comes from the J-Pop song sung by Japanese voice actress and singer Mikako Komatsu. Black Holy was used for the ending credits of the anime Moretsu Space Pirates (The show was mediocre, but the song itself is great and I love listening to it. If Star Wars had an anime, then I would like a song similar to Black Holy.). Sometimes, when I listen to it, though this is really my opinion and personal feelings, I sometimes feel that the force feels especially strong in the lyrics. If you would like, I can send a translation of the lyrics. I listened to this song as I worked on Ani and R2-KT due to the feeling as if you were in a fantasy space setting like in Star Wars."
Aoibara even plans to build an R2 unit for her school! "I chose the droid to be a school color because he is a R2 model to be built by me in the future, as an alumni gift for my school in order to bring happiness to every single person in the school meaning from teachers of all positions, students from K to 12, cooks, janitors, office people, administrators, literally everybody. This little droid who is to be born, will be called R2-TAS (TAS is the acronym of my school, and he will carry the nickname Tiger because the tiger is the mascot of my school because it was established on the year of the tiger.). I have talked to all three principles of lower, middle and upper school, as well as administrators and they are excited about my idea and will happily accept the gift! This idea about R2-TAS was also inspired by R2-KT too! I am truly happy that I know the amazing fan power of Star Wars!"



Jamie Snell
Found this on Pinterest. Not sure who did it (screen name Egglexic Cynatron) or what it is exactly but looks pretty cool. A repainted door maybe?



Cassandra James
KT friend Gabriela Estrugo sent this in over Facebook, a beautiful drawing by artist Cassandra James. According to James' website, she says:
"This was an odd request in the swap but I had fun drawing it, they wanted an Astromech Droid from Stars Wars in any colour. They gave some examples including a sketch card they owned drawn by Katie Cook of a chibi Princess Leia and a pink Astromech Droid. I decided to draw them a partner to that picture and draw another pink Astromech Droid with a chibi Padme."
What an amazing portrait of KT with another princess (this time Padme!) cuddling Vader like no one else could. This is particularly special to us because Padme had R2-D2 watching over her as she slept and that prompted Katie to want one for herself as she convalesced - the rest was history! Just a beautiful and touching piece to behold. You can check out more of Cassandra James on her tumblr site: http://comiccharm.tumblr.com/



Ryan Loesch
Ryan Loesch does a lot of Star Wars drawings so it was a thrill to receive news of these two drawings he did in honor of KT. The vibrancy really captures the playful nature of the pink droid!



Tattoos are one of the coolest art forms of the modern age, with technology allowing lush colorful tableaus on the human body. Every so often someone surprises us with some amazing tattoos of R2-KT herself!


Aedan sent in this shot of the sweet tattoo he had done! A lot of thought went into the design and he has an amazing finished work of art!


Joy Raikowski wanted to celebrate a personal victory in her life and had this amazing tableau inked on her. When it came to creating an astromech on one end (one of her favorite characters, she asked for it to be pink for R2-KT). Joy believes in the mission we do with R2-KT and honored us with this story. Amazing! Ink by tattoo artist Kevin Riley @ www.kevinrileytattoos.com


This was sent in to the R2-KT's facebook page and WOW does it look amazing! Tattoo artist Nick Baldwin paid attention to detail by including the custom flower on KT's back, then featured KT popping out of it. So cool! Nick works at Gung Ho! Tattoo, Moseley, Birmingham, in the UK. If anyone knows who wears it, please let us know!


Genna Bigger sent in a photo of this awesome tattoo she got while at Celebration V in Orlando, Florida in 2010. It's a tribute to our favorite pink droid! Now she and R2-KT are skin-sisters!


Nancy Mildebrandt showing off a custom tat she got of R2-KT on her leg - KT is becoming quite the tattoo fashion statement!


Kori Cruz loved the Katie Cook print featuring R2-KT and little Leia so much she went out and got it inked on her! Wow, that came out pretty nice!


Jolanda Ramaekers-Caspari in the Netherlands inked it up with this beautiful custom design! What's better than one droid? Two droids in love!


Juan Jose Matamoros designed this amazing water color of R2-KT and Katie Johnson herself, wearing her favorite Halloween costume: Wonder Woman! This was a nice surprise from Juan, who has worked on many of R2-KT's patch designs and who popped it on our social media feed on Katie's birthday in 2016.


Kirk "Leezard" Hardtle created this piece in his fun style channeling the wonky fun of the seventies. Talking with Kirk, he agreed some of the best art that came out of the past was chunky, larger than life, and full of fun. This piece will be mastered in color as well as featured as a centerpiece in a developing R2-KT children's activity book.


Michael O'Shields
Michael O'Shields wrote me asking if he could do a wood burn piece featuring KT. What came out of it was this beautiful masterpiece of old world art. The original sits proudly in the KT Archives & Collection for fans to see. The print was sold at conventions to raise money for Make-A-Wish and is gorgeously colored.